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Monday, August
20, 2001
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Might of human rights

NEWSPAPERS are full of news related to the killings of innocent persons by terrorists, custodial deaths, fake encounters and other atrocities. Following sites make people aware of their rights and motivate them to fight as per the law of the land, if God forbid, they happen to get involved in such a tangle

www.amnesty.org

Amnesty International (AI) organises the biggest worldwide campaign for protection of fundamental human rights. AI has around 1 million members, subscribers and supporters in 162 countries and territories. The mission of this organisation is to ensure fair and prompt trials for prisoners, abolition of the death penalty, torture and other cruel practices, custodial deaths, fake police encounters, "disappearances" and torture of women. It also opposes killings of innocent persons by terrorists. You too can join this campaign. You can send an appeal to this organisation via e-mail to save innocent persons from atrocities. The organisation mails you its news releases on violations of human rights in various countries. It has vast information on human rights and the techniques of launching a strategic campaign at your own place by organising people in case there is a violation. The site has all the latest information on the death penalty including a list of countries practising it. You can read AI's online monthly magazine the wire.

www.un.org/rights

This is the Web site of the United Nations. The site includes information on documents, treaties, meetings, publications and press releases of the organisation. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is published in over 300 languages including Punjabi and Hindi. Information about different committees constituted to check torture of women, children, prisoners and elimination of racial discrimination is provided. You will also find out various publications and education material on such issues. UN offers a "24-hour Hot Line" for reporting human rights violations in emergency situation. The page http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/index.html provides a global project to teach children about related issues.

http://nhrc.nic.in

The site provides description of "The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993" that provides constitution of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and various state human right commissions. You will find functions and powers of the commission as well as its inquiry procedure. Frequently asked questions about the NHRC will make you more clear about its functioning and powers. In newsletters and press releases, you will find monthly reports and directions issued by the commission against human rights violations by security forces and mafia groups. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses of members of commission are also provided.

www.ifrc.org

This is the Web site of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It provides the latest news of disasters and calamities occurring all over the world. You will learn about history, mission, strategies, publications, health programmes, disaster response and humanitarian values. You can also make an online donation. A directory containing addresses of headquarters in various countries is provided. A section of site is provided for youth activities.

Sarabjeet Singh Kanwal

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